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More evidence that AQAP is Saudi-funded

March 14, 2010

At the same time we’re being told about major strides by Saudi Arabia in curtailing terrorist finance, we’re finding out more about Saudi funding of the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda (AQAP).

Ibrahim Saleh Mujahid al-Khalifa, an AQAP leader who coordinated efforts to raise funds in Saudi Arabia and funnel them back into Al Qaeda in Yemen, was recently killed by Yemen’s security forces.

We know that AQAP has long sought funding from Saudi Arabia.  But the media haven’t done much reporting on that, focusing instead on Saudi regulatory improvements.  Why are we only hearing about Ibrahim Saleh Mujahid al-Khalifa’s Saudi connections now?

From Xinhua on Mar. 13:

SANAA, March 13 (Xinhua) — The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said one of its senior leaders who was responsible for raising money to fund the group’s military operations in Yemen and beyond has been killed by Yemeni security forces, AQAP’s media outlet reported on Saturday.

Al-Malahim Media Foundation, the media arm of the Yemen-based AQAP, identified the militant as Ibrahim Saleh Mujahid al-Khalifa (alias Abi Jandal al-Qisaimy), saying the militant is a Saudi national.

“Al-Qisaimy was responsible for collecting and raising money from inside Saudi Arabia and transferring them into al-Qaida wing in Yemen,” al-Malahim said in a statement posted on the Internet [emphasis mine].

It added that “al-Qisaimy was also the coordinator behind smuggling groups of wanted Saudi militants to Yemen through the Saudi-Yemeni joint border.”

The full story continues here.

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